NORMAN – Oklahoma freshman guard Shaina Pellington and Canada’s U19 team earned the bronze medal at the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup on Sunday, defeating Japan, 67-60, in Udine, Italy.
Canada earned its first-ever medal at the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup with the victory as Pellington helped her home country to a 6-1 record at the event. Canada’s previous best finish at the U19 Championships came in 2009, placing fourth.
In Sunday’s third-place game against Japan, Pellington finished with six points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field, while adding in three rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes.
In six games at the event, Pellington averaged 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. The incoming freshman started all six games she played in and averaged 24.2 minutes per game, scoring in double figures three times.
"It means the world to me and my teammates," Pellington said after the win. "We have all worked extremely hard to achieve our team goal; which was to medal for our country at the FIBA U19 World Championship level for the first time. The experience was very surreal. To be able to say that I got the chance to be apart of a historic event for my national women's basketball program, is something that is unbelievable."
The Pickering, Ontario, Canada, native becomes the third OU player to earn a medal at the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup, joining Gabbi Ortiz (2015, United States, gold medal) and Courtney Paris (2005, United States, gold medal).
Pellington is the second Sooner to play for Canada, joining Stacey Dales as OU players to represent Canada at the international level. Dales competed with the Canadian National Team at the 1999 Pan American Games and the 2000 Summer Olympics.
First held in 1985 and known as the FIBA Junior World Championship through 2001, the U19 World Cup features the world’s top players who are 19 years old or younger. Held every four years through 2005, FIBA now holds U19 World Championships every two years.